Over 15 seasons, 'American Idol' has had quite a lot of controversies, so read on to find out what happened to some of the most controversial contestants.
'American Idol' was recently rebooted by ABC for a revival 16th season after 15 long seasons on Fox. Ryan Seacrest returned to host the show, and the show got three brand new judges - Katy Perry, Luke Bryan, and Lionel Richie. As much as the show is about showcasing exceptional talent and finding breakthrough pop music acts, there has always been a lot of drama going on behind the scenes.
Some of the show's most memorable contestants were also its most controversial, and they ended up generating a lot of negative publicity for the show, which aims to create family-friendly entertainment. From X-rated scandals to run-ins with the law, read on to discover what some of 'American Idol's' most controversial contestants are up to these days.
Watching @AmericanIdol. Good now, eh? Fancy in HD.😉😀I worked for American Idol YEARS ago. Season 2! Helped judge 600 people a day w/ British producers @SimonLythgoe & team before the celeb judges would see final round of contestants. And breakfasted w/@RyanSeacrest.🤩🥐😜 pic.twitter.com/YMFfxZqqs2— Kelly Ann Collins (@itskac) April 16, 2018
Corey Clark gained notoriety after he was disqualified from the competition when show producers discovered that he had charges pending against him in Kansas that included assault against a police officer and resisting arrest. Clark pleaded no contest to the charges and was placed on probation for six months following the incident. Corey getting in trouble with the law was the least of 'Idol's' concerns.
Some years after his stint on the show, Clark was interviewed on ABC's Primetime Live, where he claimed that he and judge Paula Abdul had been in a physical relationship during his time on the show.
He even had a voice mail from the choreographer telling him to keep their fling quiet. His claim to fame was short-lived, however, as his music career failed to take off. His albums were barely promoted, and he continued to get in trouble with the law.
The insanely talented Frenchie Davis had to leave 'American Idol' after she revealed that she had been in a topless photoshoot in her youth. At the time, the show had been building up a 'wholesome' image to appeal to the average American family. However, a few years later, the show's standards changed, and viewers were outraged by the hypocrisy when Antonella Barba faced no similar fate when revealing pictures of her surfaced.
Davis's disqualification opened up a number of other opportunities, though, and she landed roles in a number of musicals, including 'Dreamgirls,' 'Rent,' and 'Cinderella.'
She then participated in 'The Voice' and finished in an impressive fifth place. She has continued to do musicals and is a vocal advocate for the LGBTQIA community.
Brittany Kerr was a contestant on the 11th season of American Idol, but her controversy came long after her stint on the show, when she was caught on camera making out with country singer Jason Aldean. Aldean was married at the time, to his high school sweetheart Jessica. Aldean and Kerr blamed the kiss on alcohol and apologized for it.
Despite the seemingly harmless nature of the kiss, it triggered a series of unexpected events. Aldean's wife divorced him in 2013 after 12 years of marriage, and the singer married Kerr two years later, on March 21, 2015.
They have a son together, Memphis, and as of 2018 are still going strong.
David Hernandez, like Antonella Barba, benefited from 'American Idol's' new policy of not discriminating against contestants with controversial pasts. He placed twelfth on season 7, after impressing the judges with his vocal talent. However, he was later revealed to have been a nude male stripper at a gay strip club in Phoenix called Dick's Cabaret, which FOX had chosen not to disclose.
Hernandez's post-Idol life involved a country-wide tour with other 'American Idol' alumni, as well as a number of albums. In 2009, he landed his own show at a nightclub in Arizona called the Barcelona Scottsdale.
The last we heard of him, he was working on a single with Printz Board, who famously collaborated with The Black Eyed Peas.
Sanjaya Malakar is often considered the driving force behind the revitalization of 'American Idol' when he appeared on the sixth season of the show. He quickly became a fan-favorite despite seemingly lacking talent and managed to finish in seventh place. His crazy hairstyles became the subject of multiple parodies, with his wacky 'ponyhawk' earning him notoriety.
Malakar hosted a show called 'Idol Stars: Where Are They Now?' and then wrote an autobiography, 'Dancing to the Music in My Head: Memoirs of the People's Idol.' He finished fifth on the reality show 'I'm A Celebrity...Get Me Out of Here.'
After these endeavors, he stayed out of the spotlight for a while, working as a bartender in Manhattan. However, he recently moved back to his hometown of Seattle to record new music with his band.